Monday, April 20, 2009

Industry Analysts Rate Aflac's Investor Relations Best in the Insurance/Life Category

/PRNewswire/ -- Aflac announced today that Institutional Investor has named the Georgia-based insurance company as the best in the Insurance/Life category for investor relations (IR). Aflac received the top selection among publicly traded U.S. companies, chosen by more than 1,000 industry analysts representing both the sell-side and the buy-side of investment professionals.

According to Institutional Investor, both the buy-side and sell-side agree that the quality and transparency of companies' financial reporting and disclosure are paramount, but there are differences too. Buy siders -- with whom IR professionals concentrate much of their efforts -- care most about the quality and depth of the answers to their inquiries, while sell-siders want increased access to senior management.

"This honor speaks directly to the philosophy, accessibility and leadership of Aflac management," Sr. Vice President of Investor Relations Kenneth S. Janke Jr. said. "Our reputation is built upon providing information with openness and transparency regardless of the audience or economic situation. I am proud of our team and thankful for the validation of our efforts from more than 1,000 industry analysts."

"Although companies may be tempted to withdraw from shareholders during tough times, the best IR teams in the U.S. are actively engaging with their investors," said Tom Buerkle, Institutional Investor's executive editor. "Now more than ever, shareholders are looking for clear, up-to-date information from corporate executives."

To determine the leading companies for investor relations in the U.S., Institutional Investor surveyed two distinct audiences: (1) Sell-side analysts, and 2) Buy-side analysts and portfolio managers. This year's rankings were based on the opinions of 417 sell-side analysts and 656 buy-side individuals. Individuals were asked to nominate up to four companies for each attribute used to evaluate the effectiveness of investor relations communications -- six for the buy-side and 15 for the sell-side. They were also asked to nominate companies with the most improved IR communications over the past year. All voting was conducted on an unprompted basis.

For a more detailed look at the survey, including its methodology, please visit

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